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Server backup of client computers RRS feed

  • Question

  • Just getting my head around Windows Home Server 2011 backing up the Server and checking with other users my assumptions are right as I can find no comprehensive reference to the Server backup process.

    Server backups are VHD Virtual files that can be accessed when the backup drive is attached to another computer via Disk Management

    Looking at the Backup once mounted in the mounted disk called ServerFolders I can see the Folders from the server and for these folders the data is readily able to be viewed.

    For the Client Computer Backups I can only see a mass of files particularly .dat files

    My conclusion is I can't readily access files from Client computers like I can access files in Server folders.

    The only way to access Client computer data is to have the backup hard drive connected to the Server and then go through the recovery process.

    I my assumption that there is no straight forward way to access data from the Server backup correct?

    I was very excited that Microsoft have enhanced the Server backup over orig Home Server to include Client computer but I'm less excited about 1)the use of VHD files 2) Client computer data not readily accessible even with VHD file opened.

    Always important to understand the logic behind things which is there but something Microsoft don't readily share. I conclude that given their use in enterprise VHD files are a proven reliable method of backup. Not so sure about the logic behind the mass of .dat files in Client Computer Data folder.

    Any feedback to further mine and other users understanding would be much appreciated.

    Monday, September 26, 2011 11:40 PM

All replies

  • Your conclusions are correct.

    As for the specific choices Microsoft has made, the client backup database has always been a proprietary format, for efficiency (network and storage) reasons. the server backup feature is leveraged from the Windows Server 2008 R2 backup, probably for resource reasons: Why burn a lot of dollars/hours on something that they can drop a wizard on top of? I'll mention that I don't know of an enterprise that actually uses the built-in server backup (NTBackup or wbadmin); it has always been wholly inadequate for all but the most basic backup tasks in the enterprise, and .vhd files have some limitations that make them a poor choice for enterprise backup (where data volumes might reasonably be expected to be much higher than at home).

    And Microsoft probably assumes that, if your server fails, you will want to set up a new one, so using proprietary formats isn't a real issue.


    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 1:22 PM